There’s been a lot of commotion recently over the upheld health care mandate – some say it will destroy the economy, while others say it’s a dawn of a new era of equal access for American healthcare. Neither is probably correct. Though whether you agree with it or not, one thing is certain – the Affordable Healthcare Act will indeed affect individuals and businesses alike. Often when new policies are introduced, regulation becomes more confusing and so can the rule of law. To this day, many Americans, including myself, still don’t fully understand the breadth and intricacies of the 2600 page policy recently upheld by the Supreme Court. We just know that it’s going to affect us somehow. As tedious as the bill is, it might actually help to add some clarity and ground rules for businesses to follow.
Supreme Court Decision
What the ruling says. It’s a decision that stunned some pundits and will undoubtedly send ripples throughout the business community. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that Congress acted within its rights to require most Americans to carry health insurance. The law also carries requirements for businesses regarding healthcare for employees.
What it means. What the decision means to you depends greatly upon the size of the business you operate. For example, if you own and operate a one person business, the impact will be much the same as it is for an individual. If you have more than 50 employees on the other hand, the impact on your business could be quite different, depending upon whether or not you currently provide healthcare coverage for workers.
Clarity and the Economy
“There is a perspective on the economy which is argued that laws of regulation have imposed a lot of uncertainty on businesses,” said Gerry Wedig, an economist with the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. “Now, there is a lot more certainty about what the rules are going to be. That might allow firms to move forward with their plans.”
That includes hiring healthcare personnel to meet the increase in demand sure to come with increased preventive care, said Dan Seiver, an economist at San Diego State University. And jobs are the one thing Obama needs right now, given the economy’s lackluster performance — something that was underscored by Thursday morning’s report that the nation’s first-quarter GDP growth was slow, as expected. The decision will also increase demand for schools providing healthcare worker training, he said.
Many, including several House Republicans have declared the SCOTUS decision as a large detriment to businesses everywhere. The Small Business Majority, on the other hand, applauded the court’s 5-4 decision, calling it a “victory for small business owners who have struggled with the excessively high cost of health insurance for decades.” The group says the Act tackles small business owners’ top priorities—cost and accessibility—and predicts that the law will “significantly rein in costs while providing more health coverage options for entrepreneurs.”
How do you feel about the Supreme Court decision? Leave a comment below.